Data Privacy Day is January 28th, and with the New Year underway and resolutions being made, we’re encouraging everyone to set their focus on data privacy and mobile security. With millions of new smartphones and internet-connected devices being activated this month, we wanted to highlight some simple solutions that make devices less vulnerable to thieves and cybercriminals looking to collect sensitive information and data. Here are some helpful tips that anyone can use to secure their mobile devices and defend their personal data.
Simple Mobile Security Solutions
- Secure the device.
If your device is missing or stolen, prevent unauthorized access by implementing screen lock security settings consisting of an extremely unique password and/or biometric authentication such as a fingerprint. It’s wise to avoid using a pattern lock or simple code that could be easily remembered or recognized via swipe marks on the screen. For an added layer of protection, you could consider installing a privacy filter that fits over your screen.
- Keep the device up-to-date.
Device manufacturers and app developers are continuously analyzing user reports and claims in order to identify bugs and make critical repairs. Whether a device is brand new or not, chances are that the manufacturer has rolled out one if not many updates used to keep the device running properly and secure. Therefore, checking your device and app store for updates frequently is highly recommended. Remember, although many phone manufactures will notify you of critical software updates, minor updates can be just as important and can go unnoticed or forgotten unless checked regularly.
- Avoid transferring sensitive information or data via mobile devices.
Although convenient, accessing sensitive banking, trading, or other personal information, accounts, or data via a mobile device is risky. If the device and data being transferred are not properly protected, it could be intercepted by a cybercriminal. For example, data intercepted while e-Filing taxes could be used to fraudulently collect a return, or sold on the dark web. But, we know it’s increasingly difficult to avoid doing so. Therefore, checking for unauthorized activity among your online accounts, financial statements, and credit reports is highly recommended. If you’ve had your information compromised in the past, you should take extra precautions and enroll in an identity theft protection service that will monitor the dark web and alert you to any new or unnoticed issues. To ensure your information remains out of the hand of data pirates and identity thieves, monitor for suspicious activity and avoid accessing accounts or transferring data especially if on public wifi. Wait until you can use a protected computer on a safe, secure, and trusted network.
- Disable autofill and cookies.
Autofill is helpful, but instead of saving your sensitive information in a browser that anyone could potentially access, consider using a secure and encrypted password manager. Disabling your browser’s cookies is another simple trick that reduces your online visibility by preventing sites from remembering your browser and prompting to autofill.
- Enable remote wiping and phone location settings.
As the final layer of defense, you should allow your device to be located or wiped remotely. Manufacturer-specific programs for finding lost devices can go a long way by providing a map of its last known location. However, just like remote wiping, it’s a feature that needs to be activated from the device before you lose it. While wiping the device is probably the last thing anybody wants to do, it’s the most secure way to ensure the data within your device is not going to be accessible to a stranger.
- Fixzii Expert Tip:
Your smartphone and some of your smartphone’s applications could be passively tracking your location without your knowledge. Although some applications, such as Google Maps, require location tracking for obvious reasons, many unassuming applications track your location with the intent to sell your information to third parties or provide it to advertisers. In addition to violating your privacy, this constant tracking of your location can also drain your smartphone battery. Take control of your privacy and data by disabling continual location tracking in your privacy settings.
Protecting Your Mobile Life
As we become more and more dependent on our mobile devices for privacy-sensitive tasks such as online banking, work emails, and online shopping, it is critical that we practice mobile security 24/7, 365 days per year.
Protect your sensitive information and data by utilizing the tips mentioned above. For assistance implementing these smartphone security suggestions, contact a Fixzii store near you. Fixzii technicians are well-versed in data protection and can help you with virus removal, data retrieval, backup solutions, installing security software, and of course Fixzii repair.